A Motta d’Affermo the main activities are crafts, agriculture and pastoralism.
The main products typical of the agricultural production are the olive tree, which yields an excellent oil, hazelnuts, walnuts, chestnuts, prickly pears. Motta is part of the oil road “Valdemone PDO“, producing high quality products.
Among the handicrafts we stress the wrought iron manufactures, blankets and carpets frame machine made and needle works. Still resists the craftsmanship of baskets and other items made of rattan or cane. An activity thriving in the past but now almost disappeared is the sculpture of the local sandstone, found in old houses, churches, palaces and doors.
In many families it is still in use to home producing the soap, out from extra virgin olive oil. The traditional cuisine makes use of genuine products of the earth.
Typical preparations are homelettes with “sciuri d’ovu“, a kind of spontaneous flower cyclamen colored that grows in late spring and summer, the so-called “cassata” that is not a the common Sicilian sweet but a kind of calzone stuffed with vegetables (“geri“), porridge with wild fennel, sausage.
At Easter time it is tradition to prepare “I varati” with eggs and “I cassateddi” stuffed with figs. For the day dedicated to St. Lucia is mandatory to cook the “cuccia” made with wheat and legumes.
At Christmas time tradition requires the “rametti” made with hazelnuts and the “torrone“. The food products are also a great expression in the homemade production: the sweet or spicy “canestrato”, pecorino, provolone and ricotta cheese.
Every August you celebrate also the festival of hazelnuts, with tasting of local products and local wine.
The oregano is a perennial plant belonging to the family of “labiche”, which easily grows in uncultivated and temperate regions like Motta and surroundings.
Generally is harvested in early summer still green and dried in the shade at room temperature. Then is stored in bunches or crumbled. Known from antiquity, the oregano was used in Roman cuisine; gradually its use has spread to the rest of Italy.
The slightly spicy aroma goes well with olive oil and in many dishes. The Mottesi are big consumers of oregano. The characteristic of this type of oregano is the intense aroma that makes it very unique and cherished by the experts.
From the point of view of healthcare, it helps to digest, is a natural sedative for coughs, cleanses the mouth and the throat and has also healing properties.